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Tuesday, 02 May 2017 10:15

Colin the Rescue Otter supports Templer Way Challenge.

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174 walk in heavy rain to raise over £7,500 for vital service

An 18-mile sponsored walk has seen over £7,000 raised for the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team based at Ashburton, as 174 people walked from the Haytor Quarry in Dartmoor National Park to Shaldon on the Devon coast.

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The Challenge, now in its 7th year, raises funds for the Ashburton based rescuers. The charity, which relies on fundraising to keep its team of volunteers fully equipped and prepared to deal with the many incidents it’s asked to attend by the full-time emergency services each year.

Alan Pewsey of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton said: “This event is very important to the team remaining operational as it is our largest fundraiser of the year, raising around a third of our annual running costs. In 2016 we were called 37 times to help those in need. The people we help are not just walkers and climbers on the moor, but the lost, missing, injured and vulnerable, such as those with dementia and mental health problems,  in rural and urban areas across the county and sometimes further afield. We rely on public donation for over 90% of our funding, so everybody who has taken part or supported this year’s event has effectively helped to save lives.”

He continued: ‘The event has become more and more popular with numbers increasing each year to walk the historic trail. We see lots of familiar faces returning as well as plenty of new faces too. Word seems to get around as to what an enjoyable walk it is and with the added attraction of having the support of team members walking the route and providing safety cover, it gives members of the public a great opportunity to not just enjoy a fabulous walk, but find out more about the life-saving work we do by talking to team members along the way’.

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There was extra excitement this year as Colin, the Rescue Otter made a special appearance. Colin, painted by talented local wildlife artist Ayse Rifat, is one of 100 otters that will be seen across Dartmoor from June this summer as part of the Moor Otter public art initiative which aims to raise money for the national park. Rescue team member Andrew Luscombe said ‘Ayse approached the team with her idea of a Rescue Otter and we were delighted her idea was accepted. We think he looks fabulous and we are very grateful to the project for allowing us to give the public a sneak preview at our Templer Way event. We are looking forward to seeing Colin and all the otters across Dartmoor this summer, as they will be raising valuable funds to enable the park to continue conserving the landscape for current and future generations to enjoy.’

Alan concluded: “We’d like to extend a very big thank you to all who have supported our Templer Way Challenge again this year. Early feedback we have had from participants and team members alike is that they thoroughly enjoyed the day, despite the heavy rain, and we will definitely be looking to run the event again in April 2018.”


Moor Otter Public Art Project:

Ayse Rifat – Wildlife Artist:

Recent team callouts ……

It is a little known fact that volunteer Mountain rescue Teams such as Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton, don’t just cover areas of mountains or wild country. We are a resource available to the Police, ambulance and fire services 24/7 and can assist in rural and urban searches as well as flood rescue.

You can read more about how Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton helps to rescue those in need, regardless of whether they are residents or visitors to Devon below:

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Charity Number: 1106098.